The art and technique of customer prospecting go hand-in-hand. Prospecting is an important component of selling, despite the dislike of many salespeople.Many sales reps utilize outdated and ineffective prospecting methods rather than their more effective counterparts that would lead to high levels of quality leads.
How do you Prospect for Customers?
In marketing, customer prospecting is a technique that involves identifying prospects and potential customers in a systematic and organized manner.It is the process of systematically communicating with prospects in the hopes of converting them into customers and you can use intake form for this purposeas well.
A prospector is someone who scans stream beds and rock formations in order to find gold by visually scanning them.It took mine seekers a long time to dig into the rock to find the nuggets and specks of gold that remained in the ground after the dirt was removed.
Modern search engines and sales professionals do precisely that — they sift through large lists of prospects to see who is interested and ready to purchase.
So you ask yourself what’s the difference between a prospect and a lead?
Potential customers call them leads if they enter information on your website, subscribe to a blog, download an e book, or fill out a form indicating interest in your company or services.
How to prospect for customers
1. Develop a prospect definition
To sell, a seller must be able to reach out to potential customers who are committed, financially able, and authorized to buy.
People who don’t need the product or can’t afford to pay for it waste the sellers’ time.
As a result, they waste time shopping around to find the right people for sales; therefore it is important to determine which people are capable and suitable for buying in each company.
If a president of a large corporation needs insurance and is willing to pay for it, a salesperson with no way of contacting him may not be able to make contact for various reasons.Each company has additional requirements, in addition to the established ones.
By analyzing the data on the profitability of current accounts, you should be able to detect all the factors indicating a profitable account that doesn’t share its data easily.The identifying characteristics should ideally be discernible from the information in directories and lists.
For example, classified listings in city and phone directories make it easy for companies and professionals to identify prospects.Prospects have characteristics that are common to many of the different types of customers, and this is their definition.
2. Look for possible accounts
A salesperson selects names for likely prospects, or “suspects,” from different sources, based on lead definitions.
You can find prospect information in directories of every type, in newsletters and magazines, in credit reports, in chambers of commerce and manufacturers’ associations, in lists purchased from marketing intermediaries, and in registrations for services.
Insurance policy sellers, for example, discover prospects among their acquaintances and through their professional and religious organizations. You can even get referred by your friends.
Customers who have been satisfied with the services of the salesperson often suggest that they contact them in return or upon request.
3. Analyzing prospects and estimating probable requirements
When information is gathered on each potential prospect (i.e. “suspect”), the likelihood of each matching the company’s product characteristics is easier to estimate.
Small-scale businesses with requirements too small to be profitable are eliminated, except when their growth potential appears promising.
Despite tapping into readily available sources of information, more information may still be required to qualify a prospect, and personal visits from sellers may be the only way to gather this information.
Prospects are separated from non-prospects during these visits, which may not result in sales, but saves time.
4. Ensure that each prospect’s requirements are met by the company’s products.
To reach each potential client, you must plan your strategy for approaching them in the ideal way.As a result of gathering information, it is generally possible to identify the likely needs of each potential customer.
As a salesperson, he selects the products that seem most appropriate for a particular prospect, based on his knowledge of the company’s products and their uses.
Now, salesperson presentations can be easily customized and tailored to fit the needs of each potential customer.Salespeople should understand what issues their prospects may raise and what obstacles might prevent them from making a sale.
In order to make contact with the prospect, salespeople simply need to set up an appointment, decide how to open the presentation, and determine how to persuade the prospect to become a customer.